As I write this we are sailing slowly but smoothly upwind (a close reach at about 2 knots in just under 12 knots of wind) from La Curz to Mazatlan. Leaving La Cruz was a bit hard! We have been there for just over a month and as another cruising mamma said “La Cruz has a lot of gravity”. Meaning, that it’s hard to leave! Mainly because of the community of cruisers there, especially the families. The Marina Riviera Nayarit and the La Cruz Kids club have done a great job of creating programs and activities for the kids; some just for fun, some service oriented and some educational. Add to that the fact that other Moms organize even more awesome things and it’s a social calendar that is hard to keep up with! Our good friends on Riki Tiki Tavi were also there which was a mountain of fun.
When we first arrived we were there to visit our family who were flying in, so we didn’t spend tons of time with the other cruisers at first. My Parents arrived at the Puerta Vallarta airport, they were met by Cameron who ushered them through the gauntlet of time share salesmen onto a local bus where they were serenaded by a local rapper with a megaphone – nice. Then, on the, slightly longer than needed hike from the bus stop to the sweet little flat they were renting, they got to dodge the angry barking dogs…welcome to Mexico!
Most people have heard about the issue of stray packs of dogs in Mexico. The issue has gotten much better in recent years, but still persists. Some of these dogs are not really stray, they are owned by someone, but are aloud to carouse about at will. The best tip that we have received in Mexico (the day before we really really needed it) was “If you are worried about a dog, reach down to pick up a rock, even if there is no rock” The dogs scatter. Thanks SV Terrapin! It worked really well.
We had a great time with my Parents for a few days before the rest of the guests arrived. The girls each took a turn staying with them up in their flat which was a very special time for all of them. We even got them out on the boat and took a sail to Punta de Mita.
A few days later, Cameron’s Parents, his sister and his parent’s lifelong good friends Marianne and Carver arrived. Carver, being 91 was the hero of the trip. Marianne kept him on his toes walking all over town. With all of us together we did lots of fun stuff with the crew including another sail, a complete sampling of all the best taco shops and Sunday morning Church. The best part was some very nice relaxing days hanging out at their pad near the marina. We had a few good games of Euchre, lots of swimming and we even found a great cafe, The Octopus Garden. The girls were thrilled to see their Aunty Kim.
It was a full couple of weeks for us hopping off the boat daily for activities and get togethers. The girls definitely took a bit of a break from school which was deserved as they had been doing school daily for a good while. I jumped off the boat to fly back to Napa and Canada for work and Cameron’s parents stayed on for about another week to keep him company and have more adventures.
By the time I arrived home, Cameron had been ensconced in the marina for a few days following a head failure (that means the toilet on the boat stopped working). Cameron had to rebuild the holding tank pump and therefore, they popped into a slip to enjoy the facilities. It was pretty nice being at a dock again and to leave felt a bit like ripping off a bandaid, but when we were settled out in the anchorage with the cool breeze and the gentle movement of the boat, I was happy we did it. I have only once before driven the boat off a dock. We were in a pretty tight space and Cameron had devised a plan that involved the dinghy running around pushing the boat about to make sure we didn’t hit other boats, the close rock wall or the pier. The activity required him in the dinghy and left me at the helm of Banyan and I was literally shaking in my flip flops. I did it though! Thanks to the help of some friends on SV Honu who helped walk us off and Cameron in the dinghy, I didn’t hit anything or anyone.
Sitting at anchor for a few days is well worth it when it comes to tummy troubles at sea. It helped me get my sea legs back before heading out. Naturally some good friends of ours off SV Agamere showed up the day before we were heading out. We were so glad to see them and sad to have to run off. Luckily we were able to spend some quality time with them before heading out.
Our “wandering toes” told us it was time to head north. It was time to escape the gravity of La Cruz and head north into the Sea of Cortez. It’s heating up and we are looking forward to exploring some areas farther north.
Things we will miss? The Sunday Farmer’s Market, the almost absence of bugs and our very good friends.